Oui, Oui, Oui!
I am inspired! I went to a wonderful French restaurantlast night with some good friends and ate a dish that I haven’t had in ages and forgot just how much I love French food! Steak au Poivre avec Pomme Frites…. Yes, yes, yes, I know you’re going to say well that’s just steak and french fries, but no it’s not. It’s so complex and has such amazing flavor, yet it’s ingredients are so basic and common… and to me, that’s the beauty of French cuisine.
For most people in the kitchen, when they think of French food an automatic thought of difficulty and intimidation will come to their minds. Yes, it’s true, there are many dishes in French cuisine that can certainly require a certain amount of skill in the kitchen, but I can assure you, this dish is one that’s not that.
I’m also going to say one more thing… ha ha ha… as if I don’t say enough!
Pomme Frites.... you’re all gonna raise an eyebrow at me now and say Michelle! Tell me you aren’t going to try to teach us how to make French Fries! Well, my answer to that is Oui! Oui! Oui! Oui! This isn’t just any french fry recipe! This is THE french fry recipe! And I can almost assure you that once you try your fries this way… you’ll never eat them any other way! There’s a little secret ingredient added to them! Read below!
Dip them the sauce from the Steak au Poivre! C’est manifique!!!!!
Steak Au Poivre
4 Filet Mignon (6 to 8 oz each)
3 Tablespoons Butter
½ cup cream
3 Tablespoons Mixed Black & Green Pepper Corns
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
4 Tablespoons Cognac
Salt & Pepper to taste
About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the filets fromthe refrigerator and pat them dry with a cloth. Coarsely grind the pepper corns in a kitchen mortar with a pestle or in a peppermill and spread them on a plate. Coat the filets on both sides with the pepper.
Melt butter (and/or olive oil) in a heavy cast iron skillet with a long handle. When very hot, add the
filets and sear the meat for approximately 3-4 minutes on both sides.
Remove skillet from the heat, transfer the filets to a platter or plate, then pour out excess fat.
Do not wash or remove ingredients in skillet, you will be deglazing the pan.
Return filets to pan and add cognac over filets.
Allow Cognac to cook down for a minute- (if you
feel comfortable enough, you can flambé this… but it’s not essential if you don’t!)
Add cream to the skillet and allow to simmer for a minute and thicken into a gorgeous pepper sauce!
4-6 Large Russet Potatoes Squared off at the ends to make sure that you have even uniform pieces. Cut into ¼ inch by ¼ inch fries or battonettes.
Rinse the cut potatoes in COLD water to get rid of the excess starch that will prevent them from sticking together.
Thoroughly dry fries on some kitchen towels-
Here’s the secret ingredient! CORNSTARCH! Coat the fries in cornstarch to guarantee a crispy crust on the outside!
Transfer potatoes to a wire rack and allow them to set for about 10 minutes
Use enough oil to cover all of the fries and then some- the more room the fries have in the oil, the less the temperature will drop when they are added. heat oil to a temp of 350 degrees
Cook in oil until they turn that perfect golden brown, making sure to move them around in there quite a bit while they cook. Remove from oil and place on wire rack lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Season with coarse salt (kosher salt) immediately upon removal from oil, while they are still hot.
Make sure you pat your filets down to remove any excess moistutre. This step is important because if you don’t do this, your meat won’t brown.
Pomme Frites tip- use oil with a high smoke temperature, i.e. peanut oil
If you want to go the extra mile with your Pomme Frites, you can twice fry them. The first time cook in oil at 325 degrees, just until they go from that white color to a light golden yellow color…. Remove them and pat them off leaving all excess oil behind and put them back in the oil at 375 degrees and fry until crispy and deep golden brown.